As wildfires rage in California, let’s look at controversy about the cause. So far, fires have taken 31 lives, and more than 200 people are missing. Governor Jerry Brown requested federal aid.
In a tweet, President Trump blamed California for poor forest management. This drew a harsh response from the California Professional Firefighters association, which called the statement “dangerously wrong.” In a statement, the group defended state actions, firefighters, and victims:
“The president’s message attacking California and threatening to withhold aid to the victims of the cataclysmic fires is Ill-informed, ill-timed and demeaning to those who are suffering as well as the men and women on the front lines.”
Later, the president tweeted a more compassionate message:
More than 4,000 are fighting the Camp and Woolsey Fires in California that have burned over 170,000 acres. Our hearts are with those fighting the fires, the 52,000 who have evacuated, and the families of the 11 who have died. The destruction is catastrophic. God Bless them all.
Analyze the California Professional Firefighters statement: audience, objectives, writing style, organization, etc. How well does the group defend its position?
How well does the statement illustrate principles of persuasion: logical argument, emotional appeal, and credibility?
Which leadership character dimensions does this situation illustrate?